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SXSW 2015 Interview: Gengahr

 
By on Monday, 30th March 2015 at 1:00 pm
 

Just ahead of the Transgressive Records 10th anniversary showcase at Buffalo Billiards on the 17th of March, I had the chance to sit down with Felix Bushe, Danny Ward and John Victor of London’s up-and-coming guitar rock band Gengahr. Bass player Hugh Schulte was unfortunately unable to make the trip to Austin due to visa issues, but the band had luckily been able to find a replacement bassist for their SXSW shows. We had to keep our interview short after having some difficulty finding each other in the multilevel venue, but the three on-hand members of Gengahr had time to give me a quick overview of their music, including their current releases in America and the UK, as well as their plans for more touring in the UK and Europe after SXSW 2015 and a full album release expected in Britain this summer.

Bushe, Ward and Victor all seemed very much at ease with both the interview and their upcoming set, despite the general chaos of the evening and the challenge of playing with an unfamiliar bassist. Their comfort level might have to do with the fact that they have quite a long history with each other, though only three short years playing together as a band. As it turned out, the band members’ relaxed, soft-spoken demeanor in the interview streaming below was a good indication of the subtle yet edgy songs I would hear in Gengahr’s stage set later in the evening. Their introspective, atmospheric style was a stark contrast to Spring King and Songhoy Blues, who played immediately before and after Gengahr on the night’s line up. If you haven’t already seen it, you can read my full review of the Transgressive Records showcase, including Gengahr’s performance, right here.

Thanks again to Brid for arranging this interview.

 

SXSW 2015 Interview: Rival Consoles

 
By on Monday, 30th March 2015 at 11:00 am
 

Paris Hilton aside, it’s pretty much a given that all electronic musicians and producers, based solely on the amount of equipment and software they must familiarise themselves with and become technological adepts with, are technical geeks. Yet one of the wonderful, unexpected awakenings I had this time round in Austin for SXSW 2015 was meeting and getting a chance to chew the fat with three great thinkers in the electronic world. I had a great chat outside the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30 Saturday afternoon with Erased Tapes artist Ryan L. West, who records and produces under the name Rival Consoles, and we chatted about his music, as well as the state of electronic music and where it’s going.

Is the recorded form of electronic music stale? Ryan seems to think so, agreeing with Barcelona musician / producer beGun that it’s super important for an electronic artist to make a bold statement when performing live and giving the audience more than what can be found online and bought as mp3s and albums. He also tells me about how he hates the term “EDM” and we discuss the lack of women not only as punters at electronic artists’ gigs but also the lack of women in the genre; coincidentally, our conversation predated this Pitchfork op-ed on the same topic Ryan posted on his Facebook by 2 days.

Not all of our chat was contentious. Ryan explains how he tried to turn on its head the usual “crass and crude” nature of electronic music as a medium in his EP released last year, ‘Sonne’, in in which he strove to bring not just colour but lightness and brightness to his music. He also tells me about his dynamic stage projection and light show he showed off at the Blackjack London / Association of Independent Music (AIM) evening Friday night at the British Music Embassy, which turns out to be at the mercy of whoever’s hands he wants to leave it with on the evening. Interesting? Without a doubt, yes. Listen to the whole conversation below.

Read my preview of his SXSW appearances in my Bands to Watch piece here.

 

SXSW 2015: Tyla Campbell and Pete Mills of The People the Poet

 
By on Friday, 27th March 2015 at 1:00 pm
 

I can’t even imagine the daunting feeling, all the apprehension young artists must feel when they have gotten word that they’ve gotten a shout to SXSW and the next step is actually coming over and playing shows on the world’s biggest stage in Austin. This is what I’m envisioning must have been in the minds of all the members of The People the Poet from South Wales, who played two shows in Austin during the week, opening both the first night of programming at the British Music Embassy to usher in the music festival and the Cerdd Cymru : Music Wales night, then the start of the British Music Embassy programming on Saturday afternoon. In both cases, the band left SXSW 2015 punters in awe with their combination of emotionally charged lyrics and powerhouse instrumentation. From the second they got offstage Tuesday night, Austin was all abuzz over this young Welsh band who had clearly made their mark on the event in Texas.

They were a bit difficult to pin down but after their Saturday afternoon show, I was able to nab Tyla Campbell (guitarist and resident band social media maven) and Pete Mills (bass guitar) for an interview about their time out in Texas, including visiting a shooting range in Houston, then seeing this famous rodeo that Willie Nelson played in Austin; we here at TGTF have no idea about it, but I guess we’ll have to investigate next time we’re in town, especially since the organisers advertise children riding sheep. Tyla and Pete also tell me about their varied band influences, how their self-released album ‘The Narrator’, with stories entirely sourced from fans came about, and the importance of those fans.

One of the more famous punters at their Tuesday night show was Radio 2’s Dermot O’Leary, who was so taken by their sound that he had them in for a live session to perform ‘People’, which is the Lynyrd Skynryd-flavoured track I was telling them about! You can have a listen and watch to the session of the song below under the interview. (So wait a minute, I beat Dermot O’Leary tipping a band before him as well as Lammo? ::smug::)

For more information on The People the Poet, visit their Facebook or check out our past articles on them.

 

SXSW 2015: J. Willgoose, Esq. of Public Service Broadcasting

 
By on Friday, 27th March 2015 at 11:00 am
 

There was some question whether or not London duo Public Service Broadcasting, who enjoyed popularity and recognition for doing the unusual on their first album ‘Inform – Educate – Entertain’ by putting public service announcement clips to music, were going to be able to wow us again the second time around. Or would they suffer from the dreaded sophomore slump? Suffice to say, I wholeheartedly enjoyed the spaceflight-themed ‘The Race for Space’, which was released in late February; not only did it prove that the project still had legs, it made me optimistic that there were shedloads of ideas still there up in the brain of PSB’s mastermind, the honourable J. Willgoose, Esq.

After closing out back-to-back British Music Embassy bills – Thursday night during the Ben Sherman / UK Trade and Investment (UKTI)-sponsored showcase, then Friday afternoon during the Embassy’s daytime programming – I had the absolute privilege of interviewing Mssr. Willgoose to ask him how the Austin shows had went, seeing that this was their second year in a row of showcasing at SXSW. We also chatted about the new album and how it fits into the continuing Public Service Broadcasting story, and what’s ahead for them this year, including several exciting festival announcements, and he bigs up Dublin as the best gigging city in Europe.

Willgoose also admits getting emotional about playing the 6 Music Festival 2015 in Newcastle last month (where our head photographer Martin had a whale of a time seeing them play and photographing them performing on the Gateshead Sage’s concourse Sunday night at the festival) because he has fond memories of camping with his then-girlfriend (now Mrs. Willgoose) and buying a digital radio to bring on their trip for the expressed purpose of catching the first broadcast of a Public Service Broadcasting song on 6music. See? Even behind that bow tie, all that tweed and glasses, there lies the true heart of an artist. I knew it was in there, I just honestly feel so honoured I had the opportunity to chat with him. Listen to the interview below.

 

SXSW 2015 Interview: Hannah McPhillimy of GO WOLF

 
By on Thursday, 26th March 2015 at 5:00 pm
 

On the St. Patrick’s Day Tuesday morning of SXSW 2015, editor Mary and I attended the Generator NI-hosted Brunch on a Boat, which featured smaller and more intimate performances from several of the artists featured on Monday night’s Creative Belfast showcase at Latitude 30. The first performer on the Brunch on a Boat bill was Hannah McPhillimy, a solo singer-songwriter who made the trip to Austin as part of indie pop quartet GO WOLF. As I hadn’t realized that she was also a solo artist, I was immediately intrigued, and her lovely singing voice served to pique my interest further during her short opening set.

After the idyllic boat ride down the Colorado River had come to an end, I had a few minutes to stop and chat with McPhillimy outside the Hyatt Regency Austin, where the trip had started and concluded. McPhillimy talked with me about her solo work, including her first EP ‘Seeing Lights’ and her upcoming recording plans, as well as how she came to be part of GO WOLF. My interview with McPhillimy is streaming below, and just under that, you can find a live performance video of her track ‘Homecoming’ from The Little Blue Room Sessions at the end of last year.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/VJf4CtefnQs[/youtube]

 

SXSW 2015 Interview: Scott Jamison of GO WOLF

 
By on Thursday, 26th March 2015 at 11:00 am
 

On the night before the official start of SXSW 2015, the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30 played host to the Creative Belfast showcase, sponsored by Generator NI and featuring several of Northern Ireland and Ireland’s most promising musical acts. One of the bands appearing on the showcase was Belfast-based alt-pop quartet GO WOLF, who have just released a new EP titled ‘Running’ on Ooh La La Records here in the States. If you’re curious, you can listen to the tantalizingly synth-laced EP on GO WOLF’s Soundcloud.

Ahead of the evening’s festivities, I had the opportunity to get acquainted with GO WOLF’s frontman Scott Jamison, who during the interview below gave me a quick introduction to the band and the recent EP release. We also discussed the cooperative nature of the music community in Northern Ireland and how that atmosphere of collaboration and support brought GO WOLF to Austin this year. Go Wolf made several appearances on TGTF’s radar throughout the week; keep watching this space for more coverage of the band at SXSW 2015.

 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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